Schlumberger Seeks Greater Innovation in Digital Oilfield Technology

Oilfield service firm Schlumberger Ltd. is seeking to speed up technology innovation through a number of collaborations and partnerships with traditional and non-traditional partners.

Schlumberger’s goals in developing new technology for commercial use include increasing the company’s rate of innovation, shortening the time of new products to market, and boosting product performance, said David Rossi, scientific advisor for asset optimization at Schlumberger. Rossi has spent half of his more than 30 years at Schlumberger in research and development and half focused on digital oilfield technology.

Schlumberger relies on strong internal research teams, but sees many opportunities for combining its internal research with external innovation, Rossi said.

“Like all the companies represented here, no one company has a monopoly on good ideas.”

To increase innovation in technology, Schlumberger relies on research and development not only with universities and academia, but its traditional partners and customers in the oil and gas industry. Increasingly, Schlumberger is seeking to engage with companies outside of the oil and gas industry to bolster technological innovation. The company also is seeking to expand its technology holdings through merger and acquisition (M&A) activity and the adoption of technology from other industries for the oilfield.

Today, Schlumberger is participating in more than 250 university collaborations worldwide on to address different technological challenges, including petroleum and earth science, information sciences and software and cognitive science research.

Rossi highlighted two of these university collaborations in the area of magnetic resonance imaging. Schlumberger is working with the University of Cambridge to evaluate oil recovery for core plugs subject to brine flooding. The company is also collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital to determine how technological development for the oilfield can enhance medical scan interpretation, and how medical professionals experience with MRI interpretation can help the oil and gas industry.


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Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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